Microsoft is about to overhaul its campus…in Silicon Valley.
The Redmond, Washington, tech company can be forgiven if, as Apple collects accolades for its stunning Steve Jobs Theater and Space Ship Campus in Cupertino and Amazon shops for space for its next cutting-edge headquarters, it seems a little like it’s waving from the side of the room saying, “Hey! Over here! We can build a Campus of the Future, too.”
Microsoft’s announced its plan to modernize its 32-acre Mountain View, California, location in a blog post on Tuesday. Â And, yes, the updated campus is just an 11 minute drive from Apple’s fresh new digs.Â
The company is not a Silicon Valley newbie. It’s had offices in the area since 1981. The upgrade is also part of Microsoft’s wider effort at workplace modernization. Last week, Microsoft announced it was upgrading its Redmond, Washington Campus.
Like Apple, Microsoft’s two-year project is focused on an eco-positive campus, what Microsoft is promising will be their “smartest, greenest office yet.”
The 634,000-square-foot upgrade will focus on making the campus a more environmentally conscious space, especially as it pertains to resources like energy and water. Â It will use solar energy and recycle undrinkable water over and over again by harvesting rainwater and integrated its own waste-treatment plant.Â
There will be a living, plant-covered roof â a popular feature in many Silicon Valley and California-based tech campuses â and “sustainability-sourced” building materials like Cross Laminated Lumbar. The accompanying video, which features 3D renderings of some of Microsoft’s new Silicon Valley Campus spaces looks eerily similar to some of the glass and wood-covered spaces at the new Apple Campus.
Microsoft is also focusing on how the planned 2,000 employees can work and interact around the campus. They will bask in the natural light from all the glass walls (tech companies love their giant walls of glass) and gather in “modern work spaces” (I wonder if they will use a lot of Steelcase furniture) and at a new conference space and, yes, even a new theater and Technology Center where Microsoft plans to demonstrate â and maybe unveil â new technology.
The entire project should take roughly two years, with a planned Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus reopening set for 2019.